AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) — Amid a national teacher shortage, the Texas State Teachers Association has released a survey with an alarming conclusion about the future of educators in the state. A record 70% of teachers said they were seriously considering leaving the profession.
Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, joined First News at Four to discuss teacher burnout.
According to Capo, the pandemic has played a role in some teachers’ desire to leave the profession.
Teachers believed there was miscommunication about the virus with the “conflicting information about COVID safety”, Capo said.
Following the mass shooting in Uvalde, the safety of teachers and students came into question.
On top of all this, teachers in Texas are also paid less than their counterparts in other states. Their salary is $7,500 below the national average.
“Most of our teachers complain that salary and voice have not kept up with the increase in workload, especially coming out of the post-pandemic season. With these issues, with the heavy workload with the disrespect with the extremely low pay, many of our teachers are finding that the skills they have are extremely marketable in the private sector,” Capo explained.
This, combined with the fact that there are openings and opportunities available in the labor market, has reinforced the willingness of educators to look elsewhere. Teachers are already collaborative and goal-oriented, skills that many employers are looking for.
If schools want to keep their teachers, Capo suggests listening to what they think is important.
“Give them a voice at work. Stop politicizing their career. Get rid of bureaucratic reports and extra paperwork that take their time away from their children, because what they want most is to be able to meet the needs of the students who are directly in front of them in their classrooms.
Even those not involved in government or the school district can help make life easier for teachers.
“The most important people to many of our public school teachers are that class parent who serves as a support system and those class parents can do a lot to advocate for our teachers,” Capo said.
Capo suggested parents talk to their child’s teachers so they can build a relationship with them.
Watch the full interview in the player above.
Copyright 2022 KBTX. All rights reserved.